NABOKV-L post 0006576, Mon, 20 May 2002 15:46:00 -0700

Re: "Bush is reading Dostoyevsky,
but he should be reading Nabokov ... (fwd)
For my comment, see below. GD

From: Jerry Friedman <>

> "Bush is reading Dostoyevsky, but he should be reading Nabokov, because
> that is where the future is, not the past," said Nina L. Khrushcheva, a
> professor in international affairs at the New School University.

Can anybody help me understand what she might have meant by this?
Is she just seeing VN as a Westernizer? Or as more of a rationalist
than Dostoyevsky? VN's fiction is by no means free of guilt-stricken
madmen, and I wouldn't call his writing "forward-looking" either. Is
there something specific about his writing that might makes it "where
the future is"?

Jerry Friedman is currently reading _The Karamazov Brothers_ and
suspecting that he got hold of the wrong translation.

I think she just means that it should not be an author from the 19th
century since Russia has changed since then -- and she is also looking
for someone with a healthy distance from the Soviet era (again, since
Russia has changed since then as well) -- so VN is good on that count.

As to B. reading D., I suspect Condi Rice was as responsible for that
soundbite as were Laura's literary tastes. Also convenient since Laura
can distill it for him to a page and a half -- which, we are told, is
Bush's preferred length for written briefings, no matter how complex the